McCrory: 'The average citizen can be prepared for a power outage - | WBTV Charlotte

McCrory: 'The average citizen can be prepared for a power outage'

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Gov. Pat McCrory spoke Friday morning regarding the state's preparations for Hurricane Matthew, the now category 3 hurricane that is threatening Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. 

"Our goal is to be over prepared and hopefully underwhelmed," McCrory said. The governor put strong emphasis that power is likely to go out for residents in the southeastern part of the state.

“We have seen how powerful this storm is,” said Governor McCrory. “I’m urging residents in central and eastern North Carolina to be alert, monitor the storm closely and be prepared to evacuate if it becomes necessary. We’re very concerned about the heavy rainfall and winds we’re expecting during the next 72 hours. The rains will likely bring heavy flooding and storm surge in coastal areas and dangerous conditions and significant power outages throughout central and eastern North Carolina.”

Governor McCrory declared a state of emergency in all 100 counties Thursday and a tropical storm warning is now in effect for areas of North Carolina south of Surf City.

The governor said state emergency crews are ready to respond quickly. Swift water rescue teams and North Carolina National Guard resources are already staged in the areas of eastern North Carolina where they will likely be needed the most: Williamston, New Bern, Elizabethtown, Laurinburg and Sanford.

High water vehicles are staged in New Hanover and Brunswick counties and other high water vehicles are being held as reserves in case they are needed. Three Helo-Aquatic Rescue Teams are also being activated for deployment this weekend across North Carolina.

Impacts from the storm are expected to be greatest between early Saturday into Sunday morning.

Shelters have not been opened yet, but counties in eastern North Carolina stand ready to open any shelters to house evacuees if needed.

"Today I am encouraging local officials to make calls for evacuation very quickly and am asking all citizens and visitors to follow those directions and take this storm seriously," said Governor McCrory.

"The average citizen can be prepared for a power outage."

Power companies will be overwhelmed, McCrory said, so don't assume because your power is out that you're going to be a priority. "With these strong winds there is a very strong likelihood that your power will go out."

McCrory said he's just as concerned, "even more concerned," for the inland areas. 

The early morning trend of Hurricane Matthew has the storm rolling northwestward at 13mph, riding up the east coast of Florida. 

"We just hope this thing moves out as quick as possible," McCrory said. 

RELATED: Hurricane Matthew hugging Florida's coastline

Tropical Storm conditions have been lashing the Florida peninsula for many hours and hundreds of thousands of power outages are already being reported. 

The latest official National Hurricane Center (NHC) track keeps the eye of the storm barely offshore of Florida's east coast, and it remains that way as the storm rolls up the Georgia coast through early Saturday.  

FULL COVERAGE: TRACKING HURRICANE MATTHEW

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